What Harvey Weinstein's Scandal Has Taught Us

Like many other's, I have been reading bits and pieces on the Harvey Weinstein scandal and I have to say, that it's great that things like this have come to light. However, he is by far not the only person, and not the last to use his power and influence to get what he wants.

When I grew up, my parents taught me wrong from right. They also empowered me to never put myself in a situation where I would be uncomfortable or in danger.

As I embarked on a career, there were times when men of power would 'hit onto me'. From sending me gifts, to outwardly touching my behind or leg. I was given a room key from a television station manager in front of others at a bar, and another time a celebrity from the station followed my taxi back to my apartment. At no stage did I feel like I was not in control or didn't have the ability to say no. The room key, went straight in the bin, never to be discussed again. In fact, I never thought about it again. Likewise, when the taxi stopped I ran up to my apartment and locked the door. He didn't know my apartment number (of course, because he had never been there), and I felt safe as I was at home.

While many would see this as sexual harassment, I see it as 'someone having a go' and me not taking them up on it. No harm done in my case.

Last year, a flatmate of a guy I use to date called him a "predator" and said that he used the allure of him being wealthy to get young women and in some cases to harrass them via text message or phone calls. Sometimes even in person by being handsy. I had heard things while I was seeing him from two women, but I ignored it, and there is a reason why. He is a predator for sure, however, we are all capable of saying no, not giving out our number or not accepting an invitation. I am shy so one would think it is hard to say no, but it's not. I know right from wrong and its remarkably easy - and has been at any age.

Harvey Weinstein is a predator and uses influence to get what he wants if the reports are true. I think many people in power feel the same and do it in a variety of different ways. If you are a rich, old guy, you know that women that are 20 years old will date you because of your money and lifestyle. Is that any different from being a predator? The person knows that if they didn't have money or power, they would not have been able to get 'the girl' but they do, so their hard work or inheritance has enabled this to happen. Let's face it, old men with young women that are 20 years or more younger in age - is dirty and disgusting.

Society does need to evolve. I am not sure going to the length that people have done to 'out' Weinstein is the answer, but it does bring the conversation to the forefront and has taught us all a few things:

  • If any person that is your boss, your potential employer, of the opposite sex or has influence over your life or career asks you to go up to their hotel room, you don't go. Why would any person go up to another person's hotel room when clearly hotels have bars and restaurants, and a person's bedroom is a place where they sleep or indulge in private and personal things.
  • If you accept a financial payout of any description over justice, then your credibility is in ruins. No amount of money should deter you from doing the right thing and ensuring whatever happened to you doesn't happen to another.
  • If you feel violated by an employer or potential employer and/or influencer in your career, you DO NOT accept a role with their company or a career lift of any description. It means that you have accepted that whatever career goals you have is more important than self respect and/or ensuring that the same does not happen to others.
  • No career goal is more important than your morals or dignity.
  • Men, you can't 'have a go' to see if someone likes you in the workforce - just in case. There may be repercussions when your intention may be innocent. If it isn't innocent and with good intentions, then you deserve what is to come.
  • Drugs and alcohol do change people's perception, actions and memory. If someone is an alcoholic, they may say and do things when they are intoxicated that they would be ashamed of if they were sober - and they may lead to offending people or harrassment of some form.
  • Women, if you go to a man's home or hotel room for drugs - you are an idiot and on top of that, drugs are illegal and you won't gain anything in life from doing so. Once again, I am sure that reports of drugs altering people's ability to conduct themselves in a normal way, may mean you could be in danger or sexually harrassed if you do choose to go to a hotel room or toilet.
  • Mental health is an issue we all need to take seriously. Instead of this long winded media campaign by celebrities against Harvey Weinstein, isn't it best to save it for the Court room???? I am sure he is largely guilty of many of these claims, however, is him committing suicide the outcome people are looking for? I do believe the Court room is the right place for this to be played out.
  • Good on The Weinstein Company for firing Harvey Weinstein. No-one is indispensible. 
  • The media baggering his wife is inexcusable along with the D grade celebrities attacking her. Are you not saying in one way that we should support women, and yet in another, you are attacking an innocent woman?
  • Wearing a brand of clothes that is designed by the wife of a movie producer is not immoral, illegal or wrong. I own a company, and if my partner designed clothes, I certainly would give them to my staff to wear and out as freebies to any influencers. That's a no-brainer. Blacklisting his wife's label is disgusting in every way. She is a woman who should be supported, and her designs are phenomenal. 
  • If someone has sexually harrassed you or raped you, don't get your photo taken with them afterwards kissing them, or be in their movies. What message does this send to the world and other women.
  • Achieve your career goals from hard work, and the right moral path. I have and I can say I definitely feel like I have achieved something in life because I didn't take the easy road and sleep with someone, nor have I done business deliberately with someone who doesn't have the same values as me. There is a message in that. There is more than one movie studio as Angelina Jolie found, and there is more than one script.
  • At no stage is it acceptable to deliberately and intentionally pull down someone or a brand in the name of women power. This Amazon fiasco from Rose (not sure of her last name) is not acceptable. Amazon is not responsible nor is Twitter. 

In short:

  • If someone sexually harrasses you in public or in a meeting in a place like an office, then go to the police. It isn't acceptable.
  • Slander is not acceptable.
  • Turning a blind eye to sexual harrassment is not ok.
  • Do not go to any person's hotel room unless you want it to go further. Hotel rooms are for private and sleeping - period.
  • Wait that extra 10 minutes for transport - and don't go to your male bosses hotel room to wait.
  • You have the power to live a happy, healthy, full and successful life - don't let anyone change that.
  • Support women and support men.
  • Don't sleep with someone for a job - it says more than you think.
  • Try not to say one thing and do another. 
  • If you have a friend or colleague who has a drug, alcohol or mental health problem, there are places you can go to understand it more, and to hopefully encourage them to seek help.

The women who were honest and spoke out should be admired. The few that are on a tyrant - you need to realise that it takes away from the real message which is the fact that sexual harrassment is not acceptable. Let's push for change so other women don't experience sexual harrassment and men don't as well.

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